Surreal Architecture Falling on the Ground: The Star Performing Arts Centre & Star Vista

Sometimes, profundity of a city or a country could be identified through its cultural activities; when it comes to the clearest representation of a city’s culture, that’s must be infrastructures related to it .The Star Performing Arts Center & Star Vista is exactly such a place – this is a multipurpose complex featuring a state-of-the-art with 5000 seat auditorium, above the theater located a vibrant shopping mall. The 2012 completed complex is truly a new representation of Singapore’s cultural style.

Collaborated by architectural studio Aedas and lighting design studio Lighting Planners Associates Inc. (LPA), the futuristic complex, which located at the heart of Vista Exchange, Bouna Vista, Singapore, comprises of cultural, civic and retail purposes to provide citizen splendid experiences on entertainment and shopping. The center of this huge building is The Star Theater offering 5,000 plus seats for musical, drama and dancing performances. Out of the auditorium, it surrounds the retail space that spirals inwards and marks the entrance. This complex is basically designed in an ambition to challenge site topography as it combines – or blurs –the cultural and retail spaces in an open, outdoor amphitheater called “The Star Terrace.”

The multipurpose complex features a 5000 seat auditorium above and a shopping mall below. The auditorium on the upper level has a bowl skin façade which mysteriously glows in blue through the clear glass cladding. The color keeps shifting slowly between a deep blue and a turquoise blue in 20 second cycles.
Photo Credit: Toshio Kaneko (LPA)

Hence this is such a complicated complex combining multi purposes, the lighting should be distinguishable for different zones while comprehensible to unify all zones. Kaoru Mende and his team members from LPA introduced three ideas for three major zones: The Star Theater, the façade of the building and the retail space. These three parts respectively play different roles for the complex, so each of them is suitable to diverse lighting concepts. For the façade, they adopted a controlling system to shift color between deep blue and turquoise in 20 second cycle to express an active stat of the venue. For the auditorium, the exterior is washed by RGB floodlights and the curves are highlighted by white light; reversely, the interior has warm lighting and blue/cool lighting. Additionally, the retail spaces are lit up in a soft way to create a bright and comfortable zone for customers. Also, LPA did their design in an environmental method and contributed to have Singapore's Building and Construction Authority be awarded the “Green Mark Gold Award” for this environmentally sustainable design.

Tour the Star


At the rear, indirect linear lighting reinforces the unique profile. The sharp linear lighting in 5000K stands out against the warm 3000K from within the building.


RGB floodlights wash the outer skin of the auditorium while 6km of Ø14mm side glow optical fibers highlight the curves in cool white. The optical fiber was proposed for ease of maintenance in the 5-story high foyer.


The 5000 seat auditorium has a strategic composition of the warm lighting at floor levels against the blue / cool lighting in the ceiling.


Minimum lighting creates a comfortable contrast in the shopping mall. The sustainable lighting design helped Singapore Building and Construction Authority win the “Green Mark Gold Award”.


Lighting is focused on vertical planes and highlights the architectural forms to create a sense of soft brightness without glare.


The external corridors connecting through the retail and F&B are lit with glare-less downlights with linear spread lens, creating striking linear lighting on the floor that guides people through the building.


The underside of the auditorium is brightly lit up to provide soft reflected lighting to the floors below.


Playful interactive lighting to the fountain in the plaza changes color at regular durations.


Energy efficient fluorescent and metal halide lamps are used for meeting the tight budget, while LEDs are extensively used for ease of maintenance and for achieving important lighting details.

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